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Razor Clam Closures on Entire Oregon Coast, Washington Coast

Published 11/21/20 at 5:55 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Razor Clam Closures on Entire Oregon Coast, Washington Coast

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(Portland, Oregon) – The other big bummer for the holiday season is the complete closure of recreational razor clamming on the entire Oregon coast, while the Washington coast extends its closures to at least December 12.

Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announced the closure this week, declaring the whole of the Oregon coast off limits to razor clamming. Recent razor clam samples indicate the marine biotoxin domoic acid has exceeded the closure limit.

Razor clamming had been closed on the northern half of the coast for a time but now this includes the southern Oregon coast.

ODA recommends you discard and do not eat any razor clams dug from the Oregon coast on or since Monday, November 16 as this is when samples were dug.

Domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae, can be harmful or fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities.

Mussel, bay clam, and crab harvesting remain open along the entirety of the Oregon coast.

ODA will continue to test for shellfish toxins twice per month, as tides and weather permit. Reopening areas closed for biotoxins requires two consecutive tests with results below the closure limit. Contact ODFW for recreational license requirements, permits, rules and limits.

For more information call ODA's shellfish biotoxin safety hotline at (800) 448-2474, the Food Safety Division at (503) 986-4720, or visit the ODA shellfish biotoxin closures webpage.

In Olympia, Washington, wildlife officials have declared the Washington coast closed to razor clam harvesting until at least after December 12. Test results on razor clams dug at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Copalis indicate levels of domoic acid that exceed the threshold set by state public health officials for safe consumption.

“While levels remain too high for safe consumption on Washington’s ocean beaches, those levels have declined since the last test, and we hope to see that trend continue to the point where we can open,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

The department won’t be able to announce if digs scheduled to start December 12 can move forward until marine toxin test results are conducted by DOH in early December.

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